Jan 8, 2021 - Economy & Business

Inside the new and improved Penn Station

Picture of the entrance of the Moynihan Train Hall of Penn Station

A view of the entrance of the Moynihan Train Hall of Penn Station on its opening day on Jan. 1, 2021 in New York City. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Remember the grungy escalators at New York's Pennsylvania Station that bear you down to the even-grungier plaza where you can catch trains from Amtrak and the Long Island Railroad? They're still there.

Yes, but: So is this splendid new way to reach those trains. The Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall opened Jan. 1, the culmination of three years' construction, $1.6 billion, and decades of Sturm und Drang over the endlessly flagellated decision in the 1960s to knock down the original Penn Station.

  • "The destruction of the station was a turning point in New York’s civic life," the New York Times notes. "It prompted a fierce backlash among defenders of the city’s architectural heritage, the creation of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and renewed efforts to protect Grand Central Terminal."

The bottom line: Moynihan Train Hall is actually adjacent to Penn Station — it's located across Eighth Avenue, in the James A. Farley Building, where the late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan suggested moving the entire rail station in what seemed like a farfetched idea in the 1990s.

Picture of the inside of the station showing the glass ceiling and people walking around
Inside the Moynihan Train Hall in the James A. Farley Building, which also holds the former Central Post Office. Farley, who was considered New York's top Democratic boss in the early 1940s, helped FDR get elected president. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images.
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